Publications and getting into a Top Tier Medical School

bengirlxD

2+ Year Member
May 2, 2015
864
827
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
So I just started this research assistant position at this hospital that is doing PTSD research and I personally love doing what I am doing. I get to contribute to a team that is driven to accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, since I am so new to the group, my chances of getting my name in one of the publications are still pretty slim since most of the first authors are acclaimed doctors and pre med students. However, I have an opportunity to complete an honors thesis project at my university in my junior year that will guarantee me a publication in my school's honors journal if my research is thorough and I complete 3 prerequisite classes (which I have slight interest but not significant interest in) before conducting the research. I really do love the PTSD project that I am involved in and I would have to sacrifice it in junior year if I am to conduct the honors research. I do have dreams of going into a top 20 med school. My question is whether not having a publication will significantly lower my chances of getting into the top tier schools even if I have a stellar GPA, MCAT score, clinical hours, and other EC's. I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,268
3,753
Status
Non-Student
So I just started this research assistant position at this hospital that is doing PTSD research and I personally love doing what I am doing. I get to contribute to a team that is driven to accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, since I am so new to the group, my chances of getting my name in one of the publications are still pretty slim since most of the first authors are acclaimed doctors and pre med students. However, I have an opportunity to complete an honors thesis project at my university in my junior year that will guarantee me a publication in my school's honors journal if my research is thorough and I complete 3 prerequisite classes (which I have slight interest but not significant interest in) before conducting the research. I really do love the PTSD project that I am involved in and I would have to sacrifice it in junior year if I am to conduct the honors research. I do have dreams of going into a top 20 med school. My question is whether not having a publication will significantly affect my chances of getting into the top tier schools if I have a stellar GPA and MCAT score. I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.
It all depends on what you mean by "significantly affect your chances". I think the best to tell you is that the majority of people at top 20 schools did not have publications in undergrad. No the presence of a publication will not have nearly the impact on your admission chances that your GPA and MCAT nor is it nearly as impactful as whether or not you had clinical exposure and volunteering experience to demonstrate altruism.
 
About the Ads

bengirlxD

2+ Year Member
May 2, 2015
864
827
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
It all depends on what you mean by "significantly affect your chances". I think the best to tell you is that the majority of people at top 20 schools did not have publications in undergrad. No the presence of a publication will not have nearly the impact on your admission chances that your GPA and MCAT nor is it nearly as impactful as whether or not you had clinical exposure and volunteering experience to demonstrate altruism.
Thank you this is exactly the information that I needed. I am volunteering and having patient interaction as well so I greatly appreciate your input
 

WedgeDawg

not actually a dog
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2012
7,680
12,582
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My question is whether not having a publication will significantly lower my chances of getting into the top tier schools even if I have a stellar GPA, MCAT score, clinical hours, and other EC's.
It will not
 

cantankerous

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2015
343
380
Status
Medical Student
Instead of focusing on research, you should be trying to do something big if you want to get into a top 20. Near Perfect MCAT, feeding millions of kids in Africa, setting up an extensive college prep program in Bum****, Mississippi, etc.
 

WedgeDawg

not actually a dog
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2012
7,680
12,582
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Instead of focusing on research, you should be trying to do something big if you want to get into a top 20. Near Perfect MCAT, feeding millions of kids in Africa, setting up an extensive college prep program in Bum****, Mississippi, etc.
Uh, you don't have to do anything like that. Just get solid grades, strong MCAT, do things you're passionate about and excel in them, and figure out why you want to become a doctor, then be able to communicate that articulately and succinctly. Do things you care about well and people will notice.
 

Goro

Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
58,276
87,478
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
The wise @mimelim has pointed out that the only way a lack of pubs might hurt you at a top school would be a lack of productivity relative to lots of research hours. Meaning, if you're spent two years in research, and don't even have a poster to show for it, something is wrong.

Now, not all will share this view. Science doesn't always work out. I spent a year in grad school on a dead end end project. When we started the project, we had no way of knowing that what we were trying to to do had no chance of success given what we learned about a year later. Our system just wouldn't allow it.

And publications are hard enough for grad students and post-docs to get, much less UH students.

So to answer your question, having a pub will always help, and lacking one won't hurt.



So I just started this research assistant position at this hospital that is doing PTSD research and I personally love doing what I am doing. I get to contribute to a team that is driven to accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, since I am so new to the group, my chances of getting my name in one of the publications are still pretty slim since most of the first authors are acclaimed doctors and pre med students. However, I have an opportunity to complete an honors thesis project at my university in my junior year that will guarantee me a publication in my school's honors journal if my research is thorough and I complete 3 prerequisite classes (which I have slight interest but not significant interest in) before conducting the research. I really do love the PTSD project that I am involved in and I would have to sacrifice it in junior year if I am to conduct the honors research. I do have dreams of going into a top 20 med school. My question is whether not having a publication will significantly lower my chances of getting into the top tier schools even if I have a stellar GPA, MCAT score, clinical hours, and other EC's. I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.
 

Cyberdyne 101

It's a dry heat
5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2013
4,591
5,904
Under the Bay Bridge
Status
Pre-Medical
Publications are like icing on the cake.

If the cake is not cooked properly, the icing will not help you.

Focus on the cake.
What if it's ice cream cake?! :p

But seriously, that's a great analogy.
 
About the Ads